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gupgupgirl 06-20-2008 03:36 PM

Betta Breeding Question

The last time I breed Betta's was with my mom and I was like...8. 12 years later I'm back on the job! I've done my research, but I still have some questions on the pair's accepting each other as mates.

My Betta's now are some beautiful ones I picked out at the local fish store. The male is a bright cream/pink with red Merle like spots on his fins. The female is just plain ol' red.


I have them in a 20gal half full tank with a divider. The water temp is 80 degrees, and I provided the Male. (Sheraton) with a Styrofoam bowl cut in half and taped to the glass. He made an impressive bubble nest over night, and spends his days guarding his nest.

The female (Dilean) has wonderful vertical (and horizontal?) stripes on here body, and I can easily see a white gravid tube protruding from her belly behind the bottom fin.

OK heres the PROBLEM...

I think they HATE each other. They spend most of the day flaring at each other through the devider. My instincts say to seperate them from site, even though all information online says to keep them within view.
The first time I put them together, she DESTROYED his bubblenest...its was the first thing she did. I put her back in her side of the tank. Two days later, he builds another impressive bubble nest. She has stripes (still) and white gravid I put her back in...he chased her around for about 15 minutes. At first I thought he was flaunting and trying to get her near the nest. She seemed quite willing at first, and sort of floated near the bubbles, yet he still chased her away. I was still convinced that he was just chasing her around trying to get her near the nest, but once she was near the nest, he just kept chasing her away. Whats his problem??

SO I guess what I am asking it, do some betta pairs just not get along and never successfully spawn, or am I doing something terribly wrong?

Or do I just need to leave them in there for a few hours and eventually they will work it out.

PLEASE help! Thanks guys!



okiemavis 06-20-2008 04:46 PM

Well, first off, the pet store bettas are too old to be good breeders. Bettas are best bred before 8-9 months of age, and most pet store bettas are close to a year old when they are sold. The reason they do this is because it takes a while for their full finnage to develop (which makes them sell better), but once they've gotten to that point they're past their breeding prime.

Secondly, most of what I have read about breeding bettas says that it can take up to a few days for them to breed. At first the female will be chased away and hide, but after a little while together they will decide to breed. You should definitely keep an eye out for any dangerous aggression, but if the female has a place to hide, and the male isn't chasing her, give it some time.

gupgupgirl 06-20-2008 05:22 PM

ok thanks! I've been reading up on it more and feel much more relieved knowing this aggression is normal. He isn't making contact, just a lot of quick chasing. I took the divider out of the tank, and put in some fake plants in the corner for hiding. They have been together about an hour now.

I'm hoping even though they are older, maybe they will still spawn. If not, I've got enough guppy's to keep my hands full.

Thanks for the help!


okiemavis 06-20-2008 06:51 PM

No prob, just be prepared for the fry and all the work that involved. I trust you have a culture of live, micro food for them to eat such as baby brine shrimp or vinegar eels?

gupgupgirl 06-20-2008 07:06 PM

I have a supply of bloodworm's and mosquito larvae that I feed my guppies. Will that be sufficient?


iamntbatman 06-20-2008 08:42 PM

Bloodworms/mosquito larvae are too big for betta fry (or just about any fry that I know of).

Since it will be really difficult to grow a culture of vinegar eels quick enough to supply the fry that you might have soon, it'd probably be better to do baby brine shrimp.

okiemavis 06-20-2008 09:09 PM

Breeding bettas is an incredibly huge undertaking. I'd recommend doing a lot more research before you take the plunge right in. Otherwise you'll either be in way over your head, or probably end up loosing most of the fry :(

gupgupgirl 06-21-2008 01:16 AM

thanks for the advice


iamntbatman 06-21-2008 01:25 AM

The mosquito larva/adult brine shrimp/bloodworms are good foods for older betta fry, but very young bettas will be too small to eat them. Just as a point of reference, my guppy fry (which are born much larger than a newly hatched betta) were small enough to be sucked up with an eyedropper. Even my newly free-swimming kribensis fry weren't even as big around as a bloodworm. Those foods will definitely be helpful once the fish are a certain size, but when they're still really small they need things like the liquid food, infusoria, microworms, vinegar eels, powdered food and baby brine shrimp.

For the first couple of weeks after they were free-swimming, I fed my kribensis fry a mixture of algae wafers, shrimp pellets and flake food ground up into a fine powder in a shot glass, mixed with water from the tank, and squeezed at the fry with an eyedropper.

I've read that vinegar eels make the perfect fry food for bettas because they actually swim towards the surface of the water, where betta fry hang out.

okiemavis 06-21-2008 09:41 AM

I'm very pro vinegar eels, mostly because they're so easy to culture. I keep some on hand just in case any unexpected fry pop up. If you don't need to split the colonies, all it really takes in putting a piece of apple in about once a month. Pretty darn easy.

The good thing about live food is that it doesn't pollute the tank as easily as non-live. Most live food will survive at least 24 hours in the tank if they aren't eaten. Vinegar eels last longer than baby brine shrimp, and are cheaper/easier to culture as you don't have to keep buying eggs.

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